On Saturday, April 3rd, six Milton High School students took part in a virtual mock trial exhibition, organized by mock trial coaches around Vermont and judged by members of the Vermont courts and the States’ Attorney’s Office. The MHS team represented the defense in the homicide case of State of New Justice v. Oddington. Senior Claire Beaulieu and ninth-grade students Eliza Stearns and Lilly Noreault were the three attorneys, which involved giving opening statements, preparing and questioning witnesses, and delivering a closing argument. Our three witnesses, played by ninth-grade students Alexus Hess, Sydney van Harreveld, and Ella Dykeman, memorized their characters’ affidavits and exhibits and answered tough questions from a determined MMU team. While there was not a winner this year due to the pandemic, the judges gave high praise to our team members for their preparation and delivery.
The Mock Trial team provides students with an opportunity to get to know aspects of the judicial system, develops public speaking and team work skills, and builds confidence. Having to compete against another school in front of real judges is as close as high school students can get to being lawyers, and it is a terrific experience.